Torbreck The Struie 2004 in a Vertical & Horizontal of Torbreck Shirazes(1998 to 2006)

Torbreck The Struie 2004 had been been not rated best wine during a blind, vertical tasting hosted by a prestigious group of good tasters in Cordis Hotel on 6 April 2017. The Struie 2004 came 3rd and was definitely the best valued wine from the great Torbreck Shiraz 1988 to 2006 tasting for the evening. The winner of the evening is Torbreck Runrig 2005. This result, of course, was somewhat within expectation. The surprise is really why a humble Torbreck The Struie 2004 performed much better before its seniors, including Torbreck Runrig Shiraz-Viognier(vintages1998, 2004, 2006), Torbreck Decendant (vintages 2002, 2004, 2005) and Torbreck The Factor vintage 2001?

We believe the Torbreck The Struie 2004 wins third place because it provides full spectrum of taste over one hour of savouring. The cool Eden fruit gives lots of vitality. It would seem that RunRig, The Decendant and The Factor may need a longer decanting time.

The RunRig is Torbreck's flagship wine, produce from 120- to 160-year-old Shiraz vines and a small amount of Viognier RunRig was included in the 4th edition of Langton's Classification of Australian Wine at the "Excellent" level and was named one of Australia's 25 "benchmark" wines by Wine Spectator magazine. With no vintage scoring less than 95 points since the 1995 vintage, and no fewer than seven vintages of RunRig achieving a score of RP 99 points.

Descendant is produced from grapes grown on the winery property from vines planted in 1994 from cuttings selected from several of the vineyards that provide fruit for RunRig. To some this is the second wine of Runrig. The Shiraz is and Viognier are co-fermented (usual blend is 92% Shiraz, 8% Viognier) and the wine is aged in neutral (ex-RunRig) barrels for 18 months before bottling. "Descendant" is named in honor of the donor vines that provided the cuttings for this vineyard.

The Factor shares many of its old vine fruit sources with RunRig. Made from 100% Shiraz, it spends 24 months in a combination of new and neutral French oak. The manager on a Scottish highland estate is known as The Factor. While some tasters may simply to say this is the 3rd wine, The Factor is built on a different orientation.

Back to The Struie. It is based on fruit sourcing within the region and is a 100% Shiraz first released in 2001. It is made from vineyard sites in the Eden Valley (approximately 40-year-old vines) and the Barossa Valley (average 60-year-old vines). The elevation of the Eden Valley is some 200 metres higher than the Barossa and the cooler climate results in a longer growing season and thus more flavor development. Differences in soil between the Eden Valley and Barossa Valley also yield more distinctive varietal flavor characteristics, lower pH and higher acidity levels in the finished wine. The Struie is aged for 18 months in a combination of old and new French oak barriques prior to bottling. The Struie is the name of the craggy hilltop overlooking the Dornoch Firth in the Scottish Highlands.

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